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Bank Wants Teen To Return $31,000 Wrongly Placed In His Account

Friday, March 28, 2014 - 9:59 AMFirst Citizens Bank (GA) - Details
"A banking error created a fat bank account for a Hull teenager, whom Madison County sheriff’s deputies said went on a spending spree and pocketed $20,000 in cash. The error occurred March 7, when a Madison County man went into First Citizens Bank on U.S. Highway 29, Hull, and made a $31,000 deposit, but because there are several people by the same name with accounts at the bank, the teller put the money into the wrong account, according to the sheriff’s report."

http://savannahnow.com/latest-new...ongly-pl..
8
ShorebreakShorebreak2,615 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,182
1. Friday, March 28, 2014 - 10:19 AM
Being naive or stupid doesn’t get you off the hook. Just curious where the parents are in this? If a large amount of money appears in your account one would think it would be discussed in the home. The money needs to be paid back. If the teen no longer has the funds then it is up to the parents to make good. Think the bank needs to review its policy for deposits and withdrawls as well.
3
FARFAR106 posts since
Feb 26, 2013
Rep Points: 381
2. Friday, March 28, 2014 - 10:21 AM
Everything I deposit or withdraw can be seen in our account on the internet.  Why doesn't the bank see if they can find exactly when and where the teen got the big deposit from an "inheritance".  All deposits to our account shows at least a code for where they came from.  It is odd that the bank has not prosecuted the person yet if they are so sure the money in his account came from teller error.
2
paoli2paoli21,372 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,011
3. Friday, March 28, 2014 - 11:04 AM
A bank has to record a picture of all deposits, withdrawals on all accounts in more than one fireproof place. They can and will get it when needed. I think they are giving the teen a chance to do what is right. They will prosecute. They have to because of their insurance and bonding. With this amount it will most likely have to made good by the bank or its bonding agency.  I assume it is too small for their insurance to kick in. The bond that the bank has on all employees may cover this. It probably will pay for most amounts under the stop loss amount. 
3
Ally6770Ally6770912 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,655
4. Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 8:24 AM
Update:

"Steven Fields, of Hull, Georgia, turned himself in Friday and was charged with theft by taking after failing to return $25,000 by a March 19 deadline. Police say Mr Fields went on a shopping spree after getting the unexpected windfall March 7, making purchases at a car dealership and various stores."

Steven Fields spent $25K mistakenly deposited into his bank account jailed | Mail Online
3
ShorebreakShorebreak2,615 posts since
Apr 6, 2010
Rep Points: 14,182
5. Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 8:41 AM
Shorebreak--Thanks for the update. 

I wish the article had said that the bank had made the person who owned the money whole.

Cannot believe that with cameras, the paper trail etc why anyone could think they would get away with this. Even taking out that much cash is a red flag. Hard to believe that this guy even graduated from high school. Like my friends grandchildren said when I told them this story, When God passed out brains this guy must have thought God said trains and he missed his. 
2
Ally6770Ally6770912 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,655
6. Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 8:51 AM
This is an extremely controversial topic.  The issue isn't that a mistake wasn't made, but who should pay for it?  Should the teller pay because the teller started all of this?  Should the teen pay even though it may take years of undue hardship, pain, and suffering to do it?  Or should the bank pay?  Should the teen even be charged or be in jail?  Or should we the taxpayers pay as he is just a kid?  The answer is unclear. 
2
mustsavemoremustsavemore49 posts since
Jun 26, 2013
Rep Points: 152
7. Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 8:58 AM
#6  The answer is very clear to me.  The Teller should be fired for making such a terrible mistake.  Putting funds into the wrong account should be at the top of the line for firing.  The teen "must" return the funds since they don't belong to him.  His upbringing should have taught him that he doesn't spend what doesn't belong to him.  If he has to spend the rest of his life repaying it, so be it.  It was not his money!  The bank should have to replace the funds to the right party since it was their teller who committed the error and they are responsible for their employees.  The teen has to repay the bank!  The answer is clear.
3
paoli2paoli21,372 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,011
8. Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 9:04 AM
#7, I am not saying the teller shouldn't be fired, or that a mistake was made.  The question and controversy is who should ultimately pay?  Should the teen do so even though he is broke and has no money?  Should he have to suffer at such a young age with undue hardship  for something he did for only ten days?  Should the government or we the taxpayers cover this given the situation with the teen?  It's not like he's a rich man as far as I know.  Or should the teller be responsible for paying the $31k?  Or should the bank just swallow the money as they have a lot to begin with?  This is the controversy which there is no good or clear answer.
1
mustsavemoremustsavemore49 posts since
Jun 26, 2013
Rep Points: 152
9. Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 9:32 AM
#8  There certainly IS a good and clear answer.  The bank fires the teller, pays the true owner of the funds back what is owed and that teen spends the rest of his life learning that he can't spend money which doesn't belong to him. It's a lesson ALL parents should teach their children and he is not an innocent victim here.  He needs to learn it now if his parents failed teaching it to him.  He must repay that money he spent no matter how long it takes. 
3
paoli2paoli21,372 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,011
10. Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 10:27 AM
Why do you think your receipt always has part of your account number on it and the balance. What is the customers responsibility? Mistakes are made and that is why banks have to bond and insure for errors and omissions. Do we get upset with the bank for not having proper training.  This was not a criminal act.  Does the bank have any responsibility for not having good training by having the person checking the address on the account or even asking personal questions such as beneficiaries, last deposit  etc. 
I went to a credit union yesterday to give them a paper telling them that  I would take my own RMD out of another institution and would be responsible for my RMD. I wanted a copy signed that I had brought it into the institution. She said let me take it to the person that does IRA's and give it to her. I SAID MY IRA'S ARE WITH THE CREDIT UNION AND NOT WITH THE INVESTMENT PERSON. She did not even know the difference. This is what I mean about training. If I just left the paper who know what would have happened. If she gave it to the wrong person and that person did not follow through who is responsible? That is why I always get a paper signed that they received the information, I don't want it lost. I also asked for an email verifying that the IRA department received any information I send. 
I think it is Navy Credit Union does this without asking. 
Banks, credit unions do not seem to have continuing classes for their employees as they have had in the past. But what is worse it that many customers don't know enough to follow through and stop mistakes.  
2
Ally6770Ally6770912 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,655
11. Saturday, March 29, 2014 - 4:55 PM
I remember going to court with a friend for their hearing.  The case before was a man who was charged with a felony.  Bank of America had deposited a LOT of money into his account (maybe several hundred thousand, I don't recall.)  He contacted Bank of America repeatedly, they kept saying there was no error.  They told him his statement was correct.

After months of this, he finally spent a portion of the money.  Some 8 or 9 months later, BofA finally realized the mistake and called the police.

I was sure after the man recounted all the effort he had taken--proof of letters sent, etc.--that at least the criminal part would be dropped.  No.  He was held over for felony prosection and told he was looking at 10 years in prison. 
3
carlycarly26 posts since
Sep 2, 2011
Rep Points: 88
12. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 8:35 AM
This article has popped up in few newspapers I read and I am amazed at the number of people sideing with the teen. Not sure if they are serious or dilusional. In the eyes of the law it does not matter how the money came to be in your account.He spent money that obviously was not his so theft plain and simple. Believe this amount would be considered a felony. I ask these people that are agreeing with the teen, lets say instead of the bank making the error, your place of work direct deposited the $31K into your account by mistake. Would you feel the same way that it was yours to keep and spend? If you say yes, do you think you would have a job the next day?
1
FARFAR106 posts since
Feb 26, 2013
Rep Points: 381
13. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 8:56 AM
The teen was very much in the wrong. He should be dealt with and made to make restitution to the bank. The bank has bonding and insurance to cover this. It would depend on the training given before I would say the girl should be fired. The training given to employees in the last 10 years is dismal. When something similar was done by a manager of a credit union,  an estate lawyer who sits on the board made a remark that an unfortunate mistake was made and that it was not deliberate. Not criminal. Nothing was done to the manager. In fact that person still holds that job. What the teen done was criminal. 
The girl  made a mistake but maybe the bank was negligent in their training. Yes I have had money deposited into my account by mistake. Yes I went to the branch manager and had it rectified. I like to sleep nights. A clear conscience is the key for a good nights sleep. 
2
Ally6770Ally6770912 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,655
14. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 9:25 AM
A "clear conscience" is also another way to stay out of jail.  Unfortunately, too many people do not even have consciences in this day and age.  If that teen goes free, we are setting a terrible precedent that doing wrong is alright. 
2
paoli2paoli21,372 posts since
Aug 10, 2011
Rep Points: 6,011
15. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 9:49 AM
Let me remind people that say let the insurance pay for the mistake.  Where do you think  any insurance company gets their money from? They don't just write a check out of their pocket. They get their funds in the form of premiums. Premiums paid by the bank in this case. How does the bank get its money to pay premiums? By passing on  fees and other charges to the consumer. So if you say let the insurance company pay you are indirectly paying the teen out of your own pocket.
As for the responsible party that made the mistake, it would have to be an internal decision by the bank. If it was a clear negligence than her job may be in jepordy. If it was due to poor training or bad policy then she should probably keep her job. If she has any conscience this will probably weigh on her the rest of her life.
She made a mistake. The teen obviously has no conscience and made a big MISTAKE that will probably affect him for the rest of his life.
2
FARFAR106 posts since
Feb 26, 2013
Rep Points: 381
16. Tuesday, April 1, 2014 - 10:30 AM
All banks that I know of (worked for one for 30 years) and all gov officials at least in the state that I am in ( was a treasurer for 23 years) buy it for the whole board. School boards also have ERRORS AND OMISSION bonding or insurance. Just like insurance companies do and insurance companies also have stop loss insurance policies as do gov offices on top of this. People on company boards also have error or omission policies on them. It is a standard thing. It is part of the bonding process. If a person cannot be bonded they cannot work in these positions. 
2
Ally6770Ally6770912 posts since
Jan 16, 2010
Rep Points: 2,655
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